TTW participants building their skills through bingo sessions

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A group of young people participating in Novita’s Transition to Work (TTW) are building their work skills and confidence through bingo sessions – which are also delivering important social interactions at scosa Day Options hubs.

TTW is specifically designed for school-leavers and young people living with disability. It supports them to gain work experience and build a range of important skills so that they can find and maintain a job.

TTW participants have been organising and conducting fortnightly bingo sessions at scosa’s Modbury and Mitcham hubs, with Day Options clients from other hubs in Adelaide’s north and south also welcome to join the Tuesday sessions.

Novita’s manager of Community and Enterprises, Travis Wakeling, says the bingo sessions are proving to be very popular, and are providing important benefits for both the TTW and Day Options participants.

“There are a number of young people participating in TTW who are interested in working in a retail environment in the future, and they’re looking for ways to build their customer service, social skills and people skills,” says Travis.

“After a few weeks of training, the TTW participants have been conducting the fortnightly bingo sessions for a diverse range of scosa Day Options clients, with as many as 30 people involved in the sessions. There are also opportunities for other TTW participants to get involved and attend the sessions if they want to.

“The training involved things like customer service, the rules of bingo anddifferent bingo calls. They’ve done so well that they are now setting up the sessions, conducting the bingo games, , and packing up on their own – with a support worker present if they need any help.

“The bingo sessions provide some important benefits for the TTW participants, including learning to interact with new people, building their communication and social skills, public speaking skills, and building their confidence – all important skills for future careers in customer service.

“It’s been great to watch them develop their skills. One of the TTW participants was initially just helping to set up the bingo sessions, but now he’s stepping up to the microphone and calling some games. He has even bought himself a bingo set so he can practice at home with his dad at weekends.

“There are some great benefits for the scosa Day Options participants as well – building social skills, interacting with new people from other hubs, and improving their counting and number skills. The bingo sessions have become something they can look forward to every fortnight.

“The sessions are also supporting Novita’s commitment to make Day Options programs more flexible and better suit the needs of the participants – they don’t have to go to just one hub for their Day Options activities, and they are meeting and interacting with new people.”

21-year-old TTW participant Cameron Bibl – who is also a Novita ambassador – has been gaining confidence and skills by helping at Novita Bingo sessions and has been using those new skills to conduct the bingo sessions at the scosa hubs.

Cameron sends out an email to the hubs every week advising staff about the plan for the week and inviting Day Options participants to attend the bingo sessions, and he does most of the bingo calling.

Cameron says the TTW team likes to make sure the scosa clients are having fun.

“My goal is to work in events, so I’m getting a start through Novita bingo at Chaser’s and Mawson Lakes, as well as the TTW scosa bingo sessions. It is definitely helping me to build my confidence,” says Cameron.

Cameron is a big Port Adelaide fan, and when he calls the bingo games many of the numbers that come out of the barrel are linked to Power players!

Team Leader Ethan Valentine says the TTW participants involved in the scosa bingo sessions focus on community inclusion.

“One of the participants has a goal to work in a café and he wants to improve his people skills, so he’s been helping to run the bingo sessions. Some of the participants involved have a goal to improve their confidence and public speaking, and they are able to do that by calling the bingo numbers,” he says.

“TTW really focuses on confidence and skills, and the bingo sessions at the scosa hubs give our participants an external opportunity to work on these things and use them in a real-world environment.

“The TTW participants are really enjoying the visits and running the bingo sessions. It’s great for their development, and it’s also good for our organisation,” says Ethan.

More information about Transition to Work is available here.